Hostile Environment Harassment

News & Analysis as of

Resignation triggers clock start for filing constructive discharge claims

Federal law requires a governmental employee to file a constructive discharge claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 45 days of the “matter alleged to be discriminatory.” The vagueness of that phrase...more

Asbestos Specialists, Inc. Will Pay $100,000 and Make Major Policy Changes to Resolve EEOC and OFCCP Investigations

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Asbestos Specialists, Inc. (ASI), a Baltimore-based company that specializes in asbestos removal and demolition in the Washington, D.C. area, will pay $100,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to...more

Federal Judge Awards EEOC $7,658,500 in Case Against Farm Labor Contractor Global Horizons

62 Thai Farmworkers Vindicated After Exploitation at the Hands of Global Horizons - LOS ANGELES - A federal judge has ordered farm labor contractor Global Horizons, Inc. to pay $7,658,500 for a pattern or practice of...more

The Employment Law Authority - March/April 2016

A federal appellate court recently held that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it discharged an employee who had been sleeping at work and falling short of the employer’s performance...more

Bill 132 Update: Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation to Become Law September 8, 2016

In a previous post, we reported on Ontario’s new sexual violence and harassment legislation, Bill 132, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related...more

EEOC Files Its First Lawsuits Alleging Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made it official—it will file lawsuits under Title VII based on sexual orientation discrimination. On March 1, 2016 the EEOC filed two federal lawsuits alleging that...more

New EEOC Retaliation Guidance Seeks to Further Stack the Deck Against Employers

On January 21, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its proposed changes to its guidance on workplace retaliation. These changes mark the first time the EEOC has modified its guidance in...more

Alleged Harassers' Intent Irrelevant to Hostile Environment Determination

Employers investigating allegations of workplace harassment sometimes receive explanations from the accused parties that they never meant to cause distress to the complaining employee. They justify their behavior as joking or...more

Best Practices for Preventing Workplace Harassment Claims

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held its second public meeting in Los Angeles with a group of experts selected to serve on the EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in...more

Anonymous Threats Cannot Be Ignored

Employee complaints based on anonymous harassment pose special problems for employers. How do you uncover the source of the problem when no one is able to identify who acted inappropriately? ...more

What is “Actionable” for Harassment Claims To Succeed

As I continue recapping various sessions from the ABA Labor & Employment Law Annual Conference last week in Philadelphia, it’s time to turn to what makes claims “actionable” under today’s harassment laws. In other words,...more

The Employment Law Authority - September/October 2015

On October 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning new rules for extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students...more

HUD Proposes “Quid Pro Quo” Rule to Amend FHA Regulations

On October 21, HUD announced a proposed rule that would formalize the standards for evaluating harassment claims in housing or housing-related transactions under the FHA. The rule – “Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment...more

“Like” it or Not? Tips for Addressing Employee Social Media Use

At first, employee social media use sounds like a matter of common sense. Candidates for a job should be careful what they post on social media sites, and make sure they’re not sharing any unsavory details about their past...more

Top 10 Workplace Investigation Mistakes: Part I

Resolving conflict in the workplace is a key issue for employers. Legal requirements have continued to expand in terms of what courts expect employers to do in order to prevent and correct wrongful behavior. In response,...more

Borgata Babes: Casino Is Entitled to Enforce Weight Restrictions

On September 15, 2015, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division found in Shiavo v. Marina District Development Company, LLC, that the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) does not encompass allegations...more

Employee Relations, Title VII, and the Confederate Battle Flag

Many workplaces situated below the Mason-Dixon line will employ both those who feel the Confederate flag is a vital part of their heritage and self-expression, and also those who see the Confederate flag as a symbol of...more

Supervisor Told Employee Patient Abuse 'Comes with the Territory'

An employee responsible for drawing blood from nursing home patients was racially and sexually harassed by one of the patients. When she complained, her supervisor told her that “it comes with the territory” and “you just...more

Reminder: California Employers Must Provide Updated Management Training on Workplace Bullying

With most of 2015 already passed, California employers should ensure compliance with new sexual harassment prevention training requirements, which now include "abusive conduct" as a mandated topic of discussion....more

Workplace Bullying: What’s the Employer’s Responsibility?

Over the past two decades, parents, schools, school boards and legislators have worked hard to address bullying in the classroom and on the playground. In the workplace, which also sees its share of bullying behavior, there...more

Confederate Flag License Plate Does Not Create a Hostile Work Environment Based on Race

The recent tragic shooting in Charleston reignited debate nationwide regarding the appropriateness of public displays of the Confederate battle flag. Earlier this year, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a...more

Employers Can be Liable For Acts of Anonymous Harassers

A recent federal court case emphasized an important lesson for all companies to consider: employers are under an obligation to investigate employee complaints of a hostile work environment even if the identity of the harasser...more

Hostile Work Environment: Playing Defense to Offensive Workplace Conduct

A hostile environment can result from the unwelcome conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors or anyone else with whom the victim interacts on the job when the unwelcome conduct renders the workplace...more

Federal Court Says Employer Can Be Liable for Acts of Anonymous Harasser

As a major national company learned recently, employers cannot shirk their obligations to investigate employee complaints of a hostile work environment simply because the identity of the harasser is unknown. Failure to...more

New Harassment and Retaliation Standard in Fourth Circuit

Last month, in Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., No. 13-1473 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes North and South Carolina, articulated a new standard for analyzing...more

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